Where to do a wine tasting at Lake Chelan

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Most visitors come for the outdoor paradise of central Washington, with its 50.5-mile-long glacier-carved lake serving as both the backdrop and the main event. The area is also teeming with vineyards, but few of their offerings go outside the region, as vacationers pick up bottles to uncork that night at their lakeside rentals. Even if you are here for a recreational adventure, set aside a day to taste.

Start to Fielding Hills, on the south shore of the lake. Mike and Karen Wade started making wine in East Wenatchee in 1999, then moved here in 2014. Fielding Hills offers the best of Chelan: superb wines and stunning views whether you are inside or outside. Most of the fruit comes from his estate’s vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, and Wade has long made a name for himself with rich, fruity styles.

Then head to the city center for Rocky Pond Vineyard, which draws its fruits from the estate’s vineyards in Rocky Reach, an area not far from Chelan and currently under consideration to become its own American wine-growing area. The granite bedrock here contrasts with most of the rest of the Columbia Valley, resulting in distinctive wines. Rocky Pond has a spacious tasting room, although outdoor seating is limited. Consider a few bites from the kitchen to keep you in shape for the next stop.

10 minutes by car, on the north shore of Chelan, is Cairdeas wine estate, easily one of the best manufacturers in the state. Winemaker Charlie Lybecker and his wife, Lacey, focus on Rhône wines, both from the Lake Chelan and the wider Columbia Valley, but they also excel in reds, whites and sparklers. Their The operation has a brand new tasting room and a ton of outdoor seating overlooking the estate vineyard and Lake Chelan.

When the evening falls, The bistro of Lake Ch̩lan offers classic dishes Рcold cuts, Panzanella salad, chicken fries, crab cake benedicts at Sunday brunch Рin a majestic reconverted artisan.


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